• Emily Malone

The top 6 ways to empower your Customer Service Agents

Your Customer Service Agents are the brave souls on the front line of your business. They’re the folks who directly interact with your customers every day, so they’re definitely the most important people to consider when wanting to deliver the kind of service customers rave about. Don’t leave them unarmed! 

Here are half a dozen ways to make sure your agents are fully prepared for all kinds of wild cases out there:

1. Give them access to information they need, fast.

Lots of companies have a large knowledge base, but a lot of the time it can still be difficult for agents to find what they need, when they need it. Plus, many knowledge bases can get neglected and out of date over time, especially if they don’t have a good user experience.

To tackle this, make sure the information your agents need to solve issues is easily accessible and on demand. Your knowledge base also needs to be able to be easily contributed to by anyone on the team, whenever. So if anyone learns something new or simply has a great tip, they’re able to let everyone else on the team know.

Service Cloud Knowledge makes sure all the information can be regularly updated and is always in front of your agents’ eyes. This’ll allow them to find the right answer, really quickly.

2. Connect them with experts.

For trickier cases, the knowledge base might not always have the best answer. So you’ll need something that also acts as a company-wide collaboration platform, which will let agents talk with experts really easily.

The best way to do this is to build an internal employee or parter Community and implement Chatter— with these babies, your agents are able to be honest and say “I don’t know how to solve this problem, but I know someone who does… let me just contact them.”

3. Show them every aspect of the customer journey.

Imagine suggesting a solution to a customer’s problem, but they’d already previously tried that same route with another agent. Yeah, it’d be pretty frustrating for both parties. This is why you need to let your agents see everything that’s relevant to each customer.

So, no matter which department or channel an insight came from, make sure all agents can see every action the customer has previously taken and each possible conversation they’ve had with others on the team. As Salesforce say, ‘no service desk should be an island’.

4. Don’t waste their valuable time.

A self-service support portal (or Customer Community) is a great way to sort out routine requests that might take time but don’t need your agents to personally deal with. Like resetting a password, or finding out order details.

Not only does this free up your agents to concentrate on more important issues, it also means your customers can avoid listening to your rubbish on-hold music (sorry, but you know it is) and figure things out for themselves. After all, it’s been said that more people prefer self service over customer service these days. I mean, look at poor Drake, he hates being on hold. Hates it.

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5. Get regular feedback.

Because customer service agents have the most contact with your customers, it’s obviously a good idea to gather their regular input.

Use their feedback and the feedback they recieve from customers to make your service or products stronger, and prevent future issues before they begin.

This should then provide a great basis for much happier, motivated agents that feel listened to, which in turn creates much happier, loyal customers in the long run.

6. Monitor and be active on social media.

These days a lot of customer feedback comes through channels like Twitter. In fact, according to J.D Power, 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing. I know that I definitely have!

This means companies need to really pay attention to what customers are saying about them on social media. The best way to do this is to make sure your agents have easy access to these platforms, with handy notifications set up.